The Lynx can finally breathe easily. Only one game, at home Thursday against Tulsa, separates them from the month-long Olympic break.
Perhaps it couldn't have come at a better time. Before Tuesday's 107-86 victory at Tulsa (3-14), the Lynx couldn't catch a break in July -- or a victory, for that matter.
During that span, the Western Conference leaders suffered three consecutive defeats, to San Antonio, Los Angeles and Connecticut, and in the process lost two frontcourt players to injury.
Rebekkah Brunson strained her left calf against the Sun and Devereaux Peters broke a bone in her left hand in Los Angeles, leaving them thin in the post with Jessica Adair already sidelined.
"We're going to have to play small ball, which is kind of fun. Have to make sure to rebound the thing. That's our biggest area of concern," coach Cheryl Reeve said after Monday's shootaround. "But we'll be able to space the floor. We have some disadvantages, but we also will have to take advantage of some really good scenarios."
Against the Shock, they did. Reeve asked Maya Moore to give her best Brunson impression and she delivered, shooting 8-for-12 from the floor and chipping in six rebounds in a 24-point game.
"Our perimeter players, we don't define them as ones and twos and threes. They all do the same thing," Reeve said. "But Monnie [Monica Wright] has played the three very often for us, so that's nothing new at the perimeter. The biggest difference is Maya won't be at the three very much."
Everyone chipped in on a historic night for the Lynx. They scored a league-high 107 points and shot a record-breaking 69.5 percent from the field behind backup guard Candice Wiggins' team-high 25 points, which included six three-pointers. Los Angeles previously held the record at 65.4 percent, dating to June 15, 2005.
The Lynx face the Shock again Thursday afternoon, this time at Target Center -- where they are 8-1 this season. It's unlikely the Lynx will repeat their record-breaking shooting performance, but the Shock's statistics suggest the Lynx will be able to shoot a high percentage. Tulsa is allowing opposing teams to make 48.8 percent of their shots, worst in the WNBA, and gives up the second-most points at 83.8 per game.
In the past 10 meetings between the teams, dating to May 15, 2010, the Lynx are 8-2; they have posted an average margin of 17.5 points in their past eight victories.